9 - 15 Sep 2019
2019 World Para Swimming Championships - London
The ninth edition of the World Para Swimming Championships takes place at the London Aquatics centre from 9-15 September 2019, here's what you need to know.
The stars of the World Para Swimming Championships are set to sparkle at the London Aquatics centre from 9-15 September and you can watch it right here on our Olympic Channel live streams.
Get ready for some incredible swimming and extraordinary stories.
Over 650 swimmers from 80 nations will compete over seven days in 162 races, record-breaking numbers that make London 2019 the biggest Para Worlds ever.
And it's not just gold, glory and world titles on the line either:
London 2019 is a key qualifier for for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
You can watch the best para swimmers on the planet right here on our live streams (Territorial restrictions may apply).
9 - 15 Sep 2019
2019 World Para Swimming Championships - London
But don't worry if the live streams aren't available where you are, we have you covered.
We will also have a daily live blog throughout the tournament with updates every few minutes featuring the latest results, highlights, news, views, interviews, tweets, and all the fun stuff that happens - as it happens.
With a mix of bemedalled Paralympians and exciting breakout stars, the Para Worlds has a little bit of everything for swim aficionados.
Day 1 will light the fuse on fireworks in and out of the pool with the Opening Ceremony at 5.15pm officially raising the curtain on the event and two para swimming superstars in action.
The most decorated Paralympian at London 2019 is Brazil's Daniel Dias, with 14 gold medals at three different Paralympic Games, Dias has already written his name amongst the greats.
But this isn't a closed book and at 31 Dias is still in his prime and looking to add to the stack both in London and at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Brazil's most successful Paralympian of all time has 24 Paralympic medals overall, 30 World Championships medals - 24 of them gold - and he is fresh out of the pool from the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games where he added another three gold medals to the loot.
Look out for Dias in the S5 category where he competes in the 50, 100, and 200m freestyle events, the 50m backstroke and butterfly races, and the freestyle and medley relays.
Each of the many medals he has won tells its own story, find out more about Daniel's journey here:
Great Britain's 5-time paralympic and 14-time world champion Ellie Simmonds announced herself at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics where she won two gold medals despite being the youngest person on the team.
She was 13.
Then she was the star of the show at her home Games London 2012 Paralympics where she won two more gold medals.
Now she's primed to light up the capital again.
Since 2008 Simmonds' career has been a meteor shower of success, medals, fame, and world records and she has added multiple Paralympic and world championship titles to her lengthy honour roll.
All that and she's still only 24.
“London 2012 was an incredible experience," said Simmonds in the run up to London 2019.
"To represent my country on home soil was something I’ll never forget so to get the chance to do it all over again at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships is pretty special."
Look out for Britain's para swimming poster girl on Day 1 in the 400m Freestyle S6 race, and also in the 100m freestyle S6, the 200m individual medley SM6 (in which she's reigning Paralympic champ from Rio 2016) and the freestyle and medley relays throughout the competition.
A year out from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Simmonds will be out to prove herself the same sub-aquatic force of nature.
Another non-stop highlight reel will be diving into Day 1 with domination on his mind.
Belorussian sensation Ihar Boki won five gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympics then followed that up four years later with six at Rio 2016.
London 2019 gives him another opportunity to add to the eleven gold medals he garnered at the previous two Worlds.
We may see the first on Day 1 as Boki is clear favourite in the men's 100m freestyle S13, and it could be the first of many.
This 13-time Team USA Paralympic champion will relish the chance to return to London where she won five Paralympic gold medals in 2012.
Long exploded onto the swim scene when she was just 12 winning three gold medals at the Athens 2004 Paralympics.
With 23 Paralympic medals in total Long is a swimming A-Lister with much more to give at 27 years of age.
The 100 and 400m freestyles, the 100m breaststroke SB7, the 400m medley and butterfly, the 200m medley are just some of the events where she excels.
London should be yet another episode in the long-running series of the Jessica Long show.
Jessica Long burst onto the scene at the age of twelve, and Ugandan swimmer Husna Kukundakwe is aiming to do the same.
Kukundakwe dreams of making the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, and if she manages it in London she would become only the second Ugandan ever to reach the Paralympic Games after Prossy Tusabe at the Sydney Games in 2000.
African nations are routinely underrepresented at big para swimming tournaments due to lack of training facilities and resources.
But for Kukundakwe swimming has helped her overcome her shyness and self-consciousness about her arm:
“When I started school, I was very shy. I’ll wear a sweater the whole day even if it’s hot, just to make sure I hide my hands. When I started swimming, people started to know me and I began to lose that shyness," she told paralympic.org.
Now she doesn't just fit in, she stands out, and has got her sights set on the Paralympics.
Kukundakwe trains with able-bodied athletes which has made her a stronger and more determined swimmer, and the twelve-year-old has a special way of motivating herself for races: Katie Ledecky videos.
“She’s my role model. She started competing when she was very young, she was young and she was breaking records. I get the motivation to continue because I’m also very young and I want to be like Katie Ledecky,” the Ugandan swimmer said.
With her improved backstroke and more coaching hours before London 2019, Kukundakwe could make that Tokyo 2020 dream come true.
Before becoming part of the established elite on the world para swimming circuit, China's Wang Lichao sat in awe watching London 2012:
“I watched London 2012 on TV,” said Wang, “at that time, I remember thinking it would be great if I could go and compete in this eye-catching and crowded place one day.
“When I was eight years old I lost my arms due to an accident related to electric shock.
“At that time, I never thought that I could represent my country by participating in a big competition, contributing to my country and winning honours."
It wasn't long before that desire became reality, Wang won a bronze medal at his first Paralympics in Brazil and looks likely to be one of China's big winners at Tokyo 2020.
On his debut at the Indianapolis World Series 2018 he broke the men’s 50m backstroke and 50m butterfly world records in the S5 class.
Watch out for some world class swimming from Wang in London.
A three-time Paralympic champion, world record holder and Nominated Member of Parliament in Singapore, Yip Pin Xiu has a story or two to tell.
Against the odds Yip has forged a successful career for herself in para swimming and been central to the improvement of media coverage and financial support for athletes with other needs in her country.
Charismatic, inspirational, fiercely competitive, Yip competes in the 50m backstroke S2 and the 100m backstroke S2.
Find out more about her incredible story here:
“For the world championships in London, the idea is to achieve three gold medals, improve my world record and prove my place as first in the ranking,” Serrano traced out his goals before the Worlds.
And who could argue with any of that?
No-one is coming into London 2019 as in-form or on-fire as Carlos Serrano Zarate who won five titles at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games that wound up a week ago.
He only took up Para swimming in 2013 and by Rio 2016 he was men's 100m breaststroke SB7 gold medallist - Colombia's first gold medal in 36 years, breaking his own world record in the final.
The man who came from nowhere was suddenly everywhere in the South American country, raising the profile of athletes with impairments who were struggling for support.
Serrano also bagged a silver and a bronze medal, in the 100m and 50m freestyle events contributing to Colombia's best Paralympic Games ever, winning 17 medals – two golds, five silvers and 10 bronze.
“The success of the Colombian team helped elevate Paralympic sport in our country,” Serrano noted. “It changed how we are viewed quite a lot because, little by little, we are becoming more recognised.
“Some years ago, nobody knew Paralympic sport, they did not know any athlete, but because now they are getting to know it, we are spoken about more, the media show us more.
“I’m very proud. There’s still a lack of support, but we’re becoming noticed more like conventional sportsmen and women.”
Now he has another chance to put para swimming back into the headlines and raise awareness once more in London.
Only 18 in Rio, Serrano has matured into an even more complete swimmer who is a threat on various fronts.
“I feel very happy and proud to go to London to participate in the pools that hosted the 2012 Games. I saw them on television and it was spectacular, so I’m very happy to go to represent Colombia and swim in those spectacular pools.”
No doubt he will be out to match the five gold medals he won at the Mexico City Worlds in 2017.
Colombia's man of the moment will compete in five events in London – the 10m breaststroke, 200m combined, 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 50m butterfly.
Serrano's mantra is that medals are won in training and you are “just picking them up at events,” let's see how many he picks up in London.
Serrano will have to make room for another rising star in Colombian colours: 12-year-old Sara Vargas.
Vargas took Lima 2019 by storm winning five medals, four of them gold, and broke a record in the S6 50m Butterfly final.
She is already being talked about as the present and the future of Colombian Paralympics.
You never know what's really going on in someone's head, even on the podium after winning a gold medal at Rio 2016.
Alice Tai was part of the Great Britain team that brought home gold in the 4x100m medley relay in the Brazilian capital.
But the joy just wasn't there for the British prodigy.
“It was a bit hard for me because I was winning medals but rather than complete happiness I felt like ‘I have to be happy because my parents are here and they are going crazy", Tai told paralympic.org.
“I was happy for them but for myself I felt a bit shallow.”
17 years of age at the time, Tai was mature enough to identify that the intensive training at Great Britain’s National Performance Centre in Manchester on a strictly Para swimming squad only just wasn't working for her.
“I felt like I needed to be out of that environment so I went back home [to Bournemouth, in Southern England] to my very first swim coaches and started training with them a little bit,” Tai explained.
“It was really about almost learning to love swimming again.”
The swimmer born in Poole decided to take the plunge at Ealing Swimming Club in London and that brave move has paid off.
“We have about 15 in the top squad and there are different layers to the squad as well, we have got a younger squad and young children and water polo and there is a disability Para squad. It’s a massive, massive club,” she said enthusiastically.
“In Manchester there were five or six of us and there was only one [Para swimmer] per session who I could train with and race against but now I can always race someone every session. I might be doing fly against someone’s breaststroke but there is always someone I can push myself against.
“For me, having the whole squad pretty much being faster than me is such an amazing motivation.”
2019 has shown just how fast she can be with this rediscovered motivation, Tai broke three world records in two days at the Glasgow World Series in April and is favourite for gold in at least three disciplines in London.
Expect more magic in the pool from Alice in London:
Rio 2016 gold medallist Mikey Jones is another athlete looking forward to the Tokyo Paralympics, and excited about performing in front of a packed partisan crowd in London.
The British swimmer won the 400m freestyle S7 gold medal in Rio and has a hankering for more hardware:
“The 2019 World Championships is the biggest para swimming event outside of the Paralympics, so to be competing in such a prestigious competition in London, in front of a home crowd, is an amazing opportunity."
"The World Championships is an especially important event for our Tokyo 2020 preparations, so we’ll all be aiming to win medals and post strong times. We hope to see as many of the British public there as possible to help us achieve this.”
If this training video is anything to go by, then watch out Worlds!
The British athletes won't be the only ones with some serious support to give them that lift when they need it in London.
Ireland's Ellen Keane will feel like she's at home with the Irish support based in London and travelling from home to watch her take on the world.
A bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympics and gold at the 2018 Euros in Dublin in front of a raucous home crowd have Team Keane believing she can add a world title to the list at London 2019.
The women's 100m breaststroke SB8 is her best chance.
The world and Paralympic record holder will aim to assert herself once more in the S6 50m butterfly event. Watch out for her 'gangsta' entrance: Big coat, hood up, a-la-Phelps.
Robinson will hope to be heading home from London with at least one gold medal in her swag bag.
Great Britain has a another Ellie who you should keep an eye on.
Ellie Challis has an amazing story about how Winter - a dolphin with no tail - inspired her to swim.
Now she's swimming better than ever, and 2019 has been Ellie's best year yet as she broke a world record in the SB2 50m breaststroke at the British Para Swimming international meet in Glasgow this April.
Still a teenager, Challis also brought down two British records and a previous European mark in Scotland to underline that she means business in London.
While she has been on a road-trip holiday across the United States with the family visiting Winter again, Ellie has been fitting in the training sessions and the break after a demanding year may just be what she needed.
Watch Olympic Channel's exclusive interview with Ellie here:
Australian para swimmer Grant Pattenson is another London 2012 veteran, but he didn't pick up a medal then, something he'll want to remedy this time around.
"2000-2002 I swam. And then I stopped from 02 to 2007 and I put on about 20 kilos, I was about 65 kilos. I looked like Jabba The Hutt!"
Luckily Grant got back in the water and he's in much better shape these days, he won three medals at the Montreal 2013 Worlds including silver in the 150m medley, and took home another shiny silver from Glasgow 2015.
Look out for this big personality in the S3 class where he races 50, 100 and 150m freestyle and medley events.
The list of amazing and inspiring athletes seems endless.
How about 5-time Paralympic champ Ievgenii Bogodaiko who leads a stellar Ukraine team, 18-year-old Dutch flyer Liesette Bruinisma who took home five medals from Rio 2016 - two of them gold, or 15-time Paralympic medallist Ellie Cole from Australia?
Then there's Mohammad Abbas from Afghanistan who was born with no arms and competes on the refugee team, or rising Italian star Simone Barlaam who at just 18 won four gold medals in the last European Championships.
New Zealand's most successful Paralympian of all time Sophie Pascoe will be in the water too, as will exciting Indian swimmer Suyash Narayan Jadhav.
And let's see whose names we are about to learn, 18-year-old Italian Antonio Fantin and French teen Ugo Didier are two that spring to mind.
Watch it all unfold right here on Olympic Channel.
Looking for tickets for London 2019? Be quick! Many sessions are sold out, particularly the evening finals sessions.
Tickets are very reasonably priced at £5 which is about €5.50 or just over US$6.
The entire tournament will take place at the London Aquatics Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, E20 2ZQ.
Heats in the morning, finals in the evening.
That's the basic layout of the schedule, heats start at 10am and finals at 6pm, if you're going to the London Aquatics Centre this is from the organisers:
Doors open - 08.30am
Be in your seats for - 09.30am
Competition starts - 10.00am
Doors open - 16.30pm
Be in your seats for - 17.30pm
Competition starts - 18.00pm
**All times below are in local time in London (GMT), add +1hr for Central European Summer Time (CEST), UTC is -1hr.
The times are all Estimated Start Times and may change.
18:03 Men's 400m Freestyle S6 Final
18:11 Women's 400m Freestyle S6 Final
18:21 Men's 100m Breaststroke SB4 Final
18:26 Women's 100m Breaststroke SB4 Final
18:32 Men's 100m Freestyle S8 Final
18:36 Women's 100m Freestyle S8 Final
18:49 Men's 200m Freestyle S14 Final
18:54 Women's 200m Freestyle S14 Final
19:09 Men's 50m Freestyle S11 Final
19:14 Women's 50m Freestyle S11 Final
19:28 Men's 100m Freestyle S9 Final
19:32 Women's 100m Freestyle S9 Final
19:45 Men's 100m Backstroke S12 Final
19:50 Women's 100m Backstroke S12 Final
20:04 Men's 50m Freestyle S5 Final
20:08 Women's 50m Freestyle S5 Final
20:21 Men's 50m Freestyle S10 Final
20:25 Women's 50m Freestyle S10 Final
20:37 Men's 400m Freestyle S13 Final
20:45 Women's 400m Freestyle S13 Final
21:02 Men's 50m Breaststroke SB2 Final
21:08 Men's 50m Butterfly S7 Final
21:12 Women's 50m Butterfly S7 Final
21:24 Men's 100m Breaststroke SB5 Final
21:29 Women's 100m Breaststroke SB5 Final
18:03 Men's 200m Freestyle S5 Final
18:09 Women's 200m Freestyle S5 Final
18:16 Men's 100m Backstroke S9 Final
18:20 Women's 100m Backstroke S9 Final
18:25 Men's 100m Backstroke S8 Final
18:29 Women's 100m Backstroke S8 Final
18:34 Men's 100m Freestyle S6 Final
18:39 Women's 100m Freestyle S6 Final
18:53 Men's 200m Individual Medley SM10 Final
18:58 Women's 200m Individual Medley SM10 Final
19:13 Men's 100m Butterfly S12 Final
19:17 Men's 100m Backstroke S14 Final
19:22 Women's 100m Backstroke S14 Final
19:36 Men's 100m Freestyle S4 Final
19:41 Women's 100m Freestyle S4 Final
19:55 Men's 400m Freestyle S7 Final
20:03 Women's 400m Freestyle S7 Final
20:21 Men's 100m Backstroke S13 Final
20:26 Women's 100m Backstroke S13 Final
20:43 Men's 100m Backstroke S11 Final
20:49 Women's 100m Backstroke S11 Final
21:04 Mixed 4x50m Medley Relay 20pts Final
18:03 Men's 100m Backstroke S2 Final
18:09 Women's 100m Backstroke S2 Final
18:17 Men's 100m Butterfly S8 Final
18:21 Women's 100m Butterfly S8 Final
18:26 Men's 200m Individual Medley SM6 Final
18:32 Women's 200m Individual Medley SM6 Final
18:47 Men's 100m Breaststroke SB14 Final
18:51 Women's 100m Breaststroke SB14 Final
19:05 Men's 150m Individual Medley SM4 Final
19:12 Women's 150m Individual Medley SM4 Final
19:29 Men's 50m Freestyle S12 Final
19:32 Women's 50m Freestyle S12 Final
19:45 Men's 100m Butterfly S9 Final
19:49 Women's 100m Butterfly S9 Final
20:02 Men's 100m Breaststroke SB11 Final
20:07 Women's 100m Breaststroke SB11 Final
20:20 Men's 400m Freestyle S10 Final
20:31 Women's 400m Freestyle S10 Final
20:48 Men's 100m Breaststroke SB7 Final
20:53 Women's 100m Breaststroke SB7 Final
21:06 Men's 100m Freestyle S13 Final
21:10 Women's 100m Freestyle S13 Final
21:24 Mixed 4x50m Freestyle Relay 20pts Final
18:03 Men's 100m Breaststroke SB12 Final
18:07 Women's 100m Breaststroke SB12 Final
18:12 Men's 100m Backstroke S7 Final
18:16 Women's 100m Backstroke S7 Final
18:21 Men's 100m Freestyle S10 Final
18:25 Women's 100m Freestyle S10 Final
18:30 Men's 100m Breaststroke SB13 Final
18:34 Women's 100m Breaststroke SB13 Final
18:48 Men's 50m Butterfly S5 Final
18:52 Women's 50m Butterfly S5 Final
19:06 Men's 50m Backstroke S3 Final
19:11 Women's 50m Backstroke S3 Final
19:25 Men's 50m Backstroke S4 Final
19:29 Women's 50m Backstroke S4 Final
19:43 Men's 200m Freestyle S2 Final
20:02 Men's 200m Individual Medley SM11 Final
20:09 Women's 200m Individual Medley SM11 Final
20:25 Men's 400m Freestyle S8 Final
20:33 Women's 400m Freestyle S8 Final
20:51 Men's 100m Backstroke S6 Final
20:56 Women's 100m Backstroke S6 Final
21:01 Women's 200m Individual Medley SM5 Final
21:21 Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay S14 Final
18:03 Men's 400m Freestyle S9 Final
18:10 Women's 400m Freestyle S9 Final
18:19 Men's 200m Individual Medley SM7 Final
18:25 Women's 200m Individual Medley SM7 Final
18:31 Men's 100m Butterfly S10 Final
18:35 Women's 100m Butterfly S10 Final
18:49 Men's 50m Freestyle S8 Final
18:53 Women's 50m Freestyle S8 Final
19:06 Men's 50m Freestyle S6 Final
19:10 Women's 50m Freestyle S6 Final
19:23 Men's 200m Individual Medley SM13 Final
19:29 Women's 200m Individual Medley SM13 Final
19:43 Men's 100m Freestyle S12 Final
19:47 Women's 100m Freestyle S12 Final
20:01 Men's 50m Freestyle S4 Final
20:05 Women's 50 m Freestyle S4 Final
20:18 Men's 50m Backstroke S2 Final
20:24 Women's 50m Backstroke S2 Final
20:37 Men's 100m Freestyle S11 Final
20:42 Women's 100m Freestyle S11 Final
20:57 Men's 4x100m Medley Relay 34pts Final
21:05 Women's 4x100m Medley Relay 34pts Final
18:03 Men's 100m Breaststroke SB9 Final
18:07 Women's 100m Breaststroke SB9 Final
18:12 Men's 100m Butterfly S13 Final
18:16 Women's 100m Butterfly S13 Final
18:20 Men's 150m Individual Medley SM3 Final
18:28 Men's 50m Backstroke S5 Final
18:32 Women's 50m Backstroke S5 Final
18:46 Men's 200m Individual Medley SM14 Final
18:52 Women's 200m Individual Medley SM14 Final
19:07 Men's 200m Individual Medley SM8 Final
19:13 Women's 200m Individual Medley SM8 Final
19:32 Men's 100m Butterfly S11 Final
19:38 Men's 200m Freestyle S4 Final
19:53 Men's 100m Freestyle S7 Final
19:58 Women's 100m Freestyle S7 Final
20:12 Men's 200m Individual Medley SM9 Final
20:17 Women's 200m Individual Medley SM9 Final
20:32 Men's 50m Butterfly S6 Final
20:36 Women's 50m Butterfly S6 Final
20:40 Men's 50m Freestyle S3 Final
20:54 Men's 100m Backstroke S10 Final
20:58 Women's 100m Backstroke S10 Final
21:12 Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay 49pts Final
18:03 Men's 100m Breaststroke SB6 Final
18:07 Women's 100m Breaststroke SB6 Final
18:12 Men's 100m Breaststroke SB8 Final
18:17 Women's 100m Breaststroke SB8 Final
18:21 Men's 100m Butterfly S14 Final
18:29 Women's 100m Butterfly S14 Final
18:45 Men's 50m Breaststroke SB3 Final
18:49 Women's 50m Breaststroke SB3 Final
19:02 Men's 50m Freestyle S13 Final
19:07 Women's 50m Freestyle S13 Final
19:21 Men's 50m Freestyle S7 Final
19:25 Women's 50m Freestyle S7 Final
19:38 Men's 50m Freestyle S9 Final
19:41 Women's 50m Freestyle S9 Final
19:54 Men's 400m Freestyle S11 Final
20:03 Women's 400m Freestyle S11 Final
20:23 Men's 100m Freestyle S5 Final
20:27 Women's 100m Freestyle S5 Final
20:41 Men's 200m Freestyle S3 Final
20:46 Women's 100m Freestyle S3 Final
20:59 Men's 4x100m Freestyle Relay 34pts Final
21:07 Women's 4x100m Freestyle Relay 34pt Final